ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Left tackle Garett Bolles was one of several members of the Broncos' offensive line to miss significant time this season after suffering a season-ending leg injury in Week 5, but the veteran said Monday that his recovery process over the past three months has been smooth so far.
"I feel good," Bolles said. "Surgery went well, rehab's gone well. I'm right on track to where I need to be and get ready for next season."
Given that he had never suffered a major injury in his career before this season, Bolles said he does not know exactly what his return timeline will look like. However, he expects to start integrating football activities into his routine in the next few weeks, and he noted that he could be ready to resume normal offseason training as soon as February or March.
"I'm not really going to put a timeline on it, just because this injury is definitely something that's hard to come back from, but if you know me, I'm doing everything I possibly can to come back from it," Bolles said. "I should be doing some football activity here in the next couple weeks, and hopefully sometime in [the] February, March area, I should be ready. But like I said, you never know. This is something that I've never gone through, so I'm not quite sure what to expect. I just know, with my mindset and where I need to be to get ready, I want to come back here and be the best left tackle in football. That's my goal, and I'm going to do it."
Wide receiver KJ Hamler also missed 10 games this season as he dealt with a hamstring injury. The third-year wide receiver spent the previous offseason recovering from an ACL tear and a dislocated hip, and he noted that while he thought he was ready to return this season, in retrospect, he should have given the injuries more time to fully heal.
"I think I need to just let my body heal," Hamler said. "I feel like I wasn't fully ready even though I thought I was ready, I thought I was getting better. I just think I need the time for my body to just heal and stuff like that."
Hamler added that during this offseason, his goal is to return to 100 percent so that he will be ready to play with no restrictions in 2023.
"I'm not rushing [the] process," Hamler said. "... I'm going to try my best and do everything I can just to be back to how [I was] before I tore my ACL and before I dislocated my hip. I think that second year was the best shape I've ever been in in my life, but it just takes time to heal. Everything takes time to heal, so I'm going to get better."
Center Lloyd Cushenberry III was placed on injured reserve with a groin injury after the Broncos' win over the Jaguars in Week 8, and he said that due to injuries at other positions, he was not able to return from IR. A team can only activate a maximum of eight players from IR in each season, and the Broncos reached that limit when they activated running back Chase Edmonds ahead of their Week 16 game against the Rams.
As he enters the offseason, though, Cushenberry said he's "been feeling 100 percent for a while" and that he could have returned earlier if the team was able to activate more players off IR.
Cushenberry noted that as the team approaches the 2023 season, he feels ready to take the field again and help the team get more wins.